Student documentary works to get the word out on bailout beneficiary behavior

I teach Documentary Production and History at Berkeley City College. On Valentines Day  I worked with my students to put together a short doc on the Peralta College District movement to fight back against an unfair deal with Morgan Stanley, a financial corporation that received an astounding $107 Billion in bailout funds from the federal government. Peralta’s college system is being held to interest rates that are way out of line with the current market. That might be fair business practice (they did sign an agreement to lock in what seemed like a good rate at the time of the deal) but it doesn’t make sense when Morgan Stanley got such a generous bailout from Uncle Sam to address their corporate woes.
The students are raising the question of whether the federal funds were best spent paying out massive bonuses to Morgan Stanley’s employees (who were able to carry on business as usual thanks to taxpayer money) or whether the best stewardship of tax dollars would be to pass them through to programs that ultimately provide services such as the education offered at Peralta. (Thanks to this lopsided financial arrangement, the
Peralta schools are being forced to cut 230 classes per semester in order to fund interest to Morgan.).
It reminded me of the roots of “The Mouse that Roared,”   i.e. Icelanders refusing to pay back the onerous debt incurred by unethical banking practices kept secret from the people of Iceland. The collapse of their economy lead to a ‘Pots and Pans revolution” in the streets of Reykjavik, a new  government committed to great transparency and
now Iceland is leading the  world in promoting  internet freedom, with legislation called the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative, IMMI.
See for more information.
Click here to see the very heartful student video produced on Valentines Day to pressure Morgan Stanley.  It’s called “Morgan Stanley, You’re Breaking My Heart”